Project Page

Increased Observers and Outreach to Reduce Incidental Hooking of Sea Turtles in Recreational Fisheries along Florida’s Gulf Coast

Implementing Organization

State of Florida


DWH Project Funding


Known Leveraged Funding


Funding Organization

Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees (NRDA)

Funding Program

Natural Resource Damage Assessment NRDA


Project Category


Project Actions

Species Restoration

Targeted Resources

Sea Turtles

Project Description

The project will involve collecting information and developing a response strategy for sea turtles incidentally captured (hooked and/or entangled) at eight Florida Gulf Coast fishing piers. The Florida Trustee Implementation Group (FL TIG) will coordinate implementation of this project with the Regionwide TIG, which is currently planning restoration for sea turtles. Specifically, the project will: • Collate information on incidental capture by excerpting information from existing Florida Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network (STSSN) records and from the Responsible Pier Initiative; • Review commercial and local government piers along Florida’s northwest and southwest peninsular Gulf shoreline; • Establish Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) (state) observers on larger piers during periods with high reported capture rates; • Convene an expert working group to develop a standardized response strategy for incidentally hooked sea turtles (i.e., FWC Sea Turtle Incidental Hooking and Capture Plan); • Coordinate with pier operators on voluntary implementation of the plan The goal of this project is to evaluate current conditions and develop a comprehensive response strategy for sea turtles incidentally captured (hooked and/or entangled). Additional information to inform appropriate response actions more fully are necessary to maximize successful outcomes. This project will target a reduction in incidental capture of sea turtles (specifically, Kemp’s ridley, loggerhead, and green) at eight fishing piers by providing standardized instruction on appropriate fisher behavior when sea turtles have been observed or on "More Info" link below


Gareth Leonard
(850) 617-9452
Project Website
Project Partners


Affiliated Institutions

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